Autumn 2007 Volume One Issue Four

Elvis and Gretel in the Woods beyond the Railroad Tracks -- Matt Betts

1. Gretel

Gretel was getting nervous -- She was trepidatious about leaving a trail of banana slices to find their way out of the woods to begin with, but now, now that they were standing so close, she had reason to believe that the King had been eating some of the pieces.

How many though?

Had he eaten every third slice? Every other? All of them?

Why had Hansel stood her up?


There was a man with willpower. Still there was something hypnotic about the King's jumpsuit -- the way the sequins danced in the light that filtered through the trees made her heart flutter just a little.

2. Elvis

He preferred a little peanut butter with his 'nanas, but he was nothing if not flexible. When Gretel wasn't looking he'd pop the slices into his mouth -- two, three at a time. When he came to a bad spot, he'd chuck it a squirrel or blue jay, whichever was handy. It wasn't that he was really that hungry, he could hold his own when he had to, he just didn't want to leave a trail. Why provide a way for that goody two shoes Hansel to find them? Besides, there was no going back now. They either found themselves a candy house out here and lived it up, or they didn't go back.

3. Hansel

Hansel was 'It'. He hated that he was running late to meet Gretel, but when the King of Rock and Roll asked you to play hide & seek -- you couldn't say no. Still, counting to a million seemed an excessive allotment of hiding time. Then again, how well can a man wearing a sparkling silver jumpsuit hide?

- END -

Matt Betts is a former radio personality and newsperson from Lima, Ohio. His work appears in Red River Review, elimae, Big Ugly Review, A Thousand Faces and the online edition of The Columbus Dispatch, among others. He rarely follows the manufacturer's suggested vehicle maintenance schedule.

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